There are so many places to go with this movie and the various theories, etc, that we’ve been studying and discussing with class. Informally, I enjoyed the movie. I thought it was intelligent and thought-provoking, and it is one of the few I believe I would also have enjoyed as a naive viewer as well. Without having attended English 5380 and without having read Baudrillard’s work “Simulacra and Simulations: The Precession of Simulacra”, I think what I would have most noticed was the creepy voyeurism of the whole thing. It’s reality television gone to a terrifying level. Some might argue that it is more real than our so-called reality television because Truman’s life is lived without the knowledge of the cameras all around him – therefore, the viewer is supposed to assume that everything he does is absolutely genuine, even if nothing else in his entire world is.
Though, as I mentioned before, much could be said about this movie in terms of our various studies, I want to focus primarily on the concept of the real and of what Baudrillard refers to as the hyperreal. As JB states: “It is a question of substituting the signs of the real for the real; that is to say of an operation deterring every real process via its operational double…” (1). Undoubtedly, this is what has been done to Truman within his imaginary world. By creating a world in which the only objective is to cover up the fact that it doesn’t ”really” exist, Truman’s parent corporation (another really, really disturbing idea) dissimulates the fact that there is nothing there if they are removed. EVERYTHING dissumulates this fact other than Truman himself; even his relationships are simulated. The undoing of it all occurs when he finds, despite all the efforts of the production crew, something that is not merely a planned representation of a facet of the outside world – the real process of falling in love with an extra rather than with his simulated wife.
I found the public reaction to be both predictable – who doesn’t love a cause? – and ironic. They – supposedly living in the world of the real – are absorbed in Truman’s life and have been for almost thirty years. Is their world really any more real than his?